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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Day's Journey

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DAY’S JOURNEY . A ‘day’s journey’ ( Numbers 11:31 f, 1 Kings 19:4 , Jonah 3:4 , Luke 2:44 ; cf. three days’ journey, Genesis 30:36 , Exodus 3:18 etc.; seven days, Genesis 31:23 ) was not, like the ‘sabbath day’s journey’ (see Weights and Measures), a definite measure of length, but, like our ‘stone’s throw,’ ‘bow-shot,’ etc., a popular and somewhat indefinite indication of distance. This would naturally vary with the urgency and impedimenta of the traveller or the caravan. Laban in hot pursuit of Jacob, and the Hebrew host in the wilderness, may be taken to represent the extremes in this matter of a ‘day’s journey’ (reff. above), although it is scarcely possible to take literally the ‘seven days’ journey’ of the former ( Genesis 31:23 ) from Haran to Gilead, circa 350 miles in 7 days. From 20 to 30 miles is probably a fair estimate of an average day’s journey with baggage animals.

A. R. S. Kennedy.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Day's Journey'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/d/days-journey.html. 1909.

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